Performance dates & times

Sunday 26 Aug
5:00 PM

Running Time 2 hours

Price range

FREE EVENT - bookings required

Listen, absorb and sit in story.

Centering on global first peoples experiences, Arts Centre Melbourne opens the Fairfax studio foyer to storytellers and Artists from indigenous Australia, Palestine and South Africa. A gentle event inviting folks to listen, absorb and sit in story.

Artists: Paola Balla, Declan Furber Gillick, Aseel Tayah, Samah Sabawi, Sello Molefi, Astrid Mbani and Roberta Joy Rich and Candy Bowers

About the artists

Astrid Mbani is a Writer, Poet, Spoken Word Artist, Performer, Lover of People, Authentic Relationship Builder, Edifier, Equipper and Lifelong student, who's excited to see what other roles God develops in her. Born in South Africa her mother says she came in with a bang, and she wants to exit with one; having made her ancestors and her future generations proud. She is the culmination of all that's gone before and the hope of those yet to come. She is Brownsugababe.

Astrid Mbani

Roberta Rich is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work responds to constructions of identity, often referencing her diaspora African identity and experiences. Utilising language and satire in her video, performance, installation and mixed-media projects, Rich draws from historical, socio-political and popular contemporary culture, to engage with notions of 'authentic' identity construction while ascertaining empowering forms of self-determination via her arts practice. Since completing her Master of Fine Arts at Monash University, Rich has exhibited projects in Melbourne, as well as interstate, and has been more recently working across Johannesburg and Cape Town. Recent shows include, Deny/Denial/Denied; Blak Dot Gallery, Melbourne (2017), One Colour at a Time: Contemporary Screen Prints; Wits Art Museum, Johannesburg (2017), M/other Land as part of Next Wave Festival at Arts House (2018), Transmissions; Gallery MOMO Cape Town, (2018) and an alumni of FCAC’s Emerging Cultural Leaders Program. Her recent studio residencies in South Africa were supported by NAVA’s Freedman Foundation Travelling Scholarship for Emerging Artists.

Roberta Rich

Candy Bowers is a speaker, writer, actor, theatre maker and filmmaker. The Artistic Director of Black Honey Company, Candy has pioneered a fierce sub-genre of contemporary performance which earned her the 2018 Geoffrey Milne- Green Room Association Award for outstanding contribution to Independent Theatre. Her original work for stage includes Hot Brown Honey, Who's That Chik?, Australian Booty, MC Platypus & Queen Koala and One The Bear- A Fairytale for the Hip Hop Generation. She has written poetry, short stories, essays and commentary for The Lifted Brow, SBS Life, Junkee and PerilMag. She is published in Yours Truly- Women of Letters (Penguin), She's Having A Laugh (Affirm) and Queerstories (Hachette). Candy is a break-out comic performer with TV appearances on Get Krack!n, Newtons Law, The Ex PM, Tonightly (ABC/Netflix) and The Cry (BBC.) She is currently working on her first screenplay for Arena Media, and her first graphic novel for young adults at the Wheeler Centre.

Candy Bowers

Paola Balla is an artist, curator, academic, and cultural producer– having developed Footscray Community Arts Centre’s first Indigenous Arts and Cultural program, and as a Senior Curator in First Peoples exhibition, Melbourne Museum. A Wemba-Wemba and Gunditjmara woman she is based at Moondani Balluk Indigenous Academic Centre, Victoria University as a lecturer and PhD candidate focussed on Aboriginal women's art and practices of resistance, she is the inaugural Lisa Bellear Indigenous Research Scholar. In 2015, she curated Executed in Franklin Street, in 2016 she co-curated Sovereignty at ACCA with Director Max Delany and was co-curator of Unfinished Business; Perspectives on art and feminism 2017, in New York. January 2018 Paola was a co-facilitator of the First Nations Dialogues & presenter at Performance Space New York's COIL Festival.

Paola Balla

Declan Furber Gillic is a multi-disciplinary artist and musician working in theatre, performance prose and Hip-Hop. He was born in Mparntwe on Arrernte country and lives in Footscray on Wurundjeri country. He has worked as a teacher, an intercultural educator, Aboriginal Legal Support Officer, court staffer and now freelances as an artist, writer and teacher. Declan completed a Masters in Writing for Performance at Victorian College of the Arts in 2017 and had his first play, The Great Emu War, staged for reading with the Melbourne Theatre Company, where he is currently a writer in residence. He was accepted to develop a new one-man show, BIGHOUSE DREAMING, for Melbourne fringe 2018 with the help of Melbourne Fringe and Ilbidjerri Theatre as part of their Deadly Fringe program (Brunswick Mechanic’s Institute, 25 - 29 September) Declan is an Arrernte Sovereign National.

Declan Furber Gillick

Samah Sabawi is an award-winning playwright, author and poet. Her critically acclaimed play Tales of a City by the Sea was selected for the 2016 Victorian Certificate of Education Drama Playlist, won two Drama Victoria awards for best new Australian publication and best performance for VCE and was nominated for Best Independent Production at the Green Room Awards. Sabawi co-edited the groundbreaking anthology Double Exposure: Plays of the Jewish and Palestinian Diasporas, winner of the Canadian 2017 biennial Patrick O'Neill Award for best play anthology. She co-authored I Remember My Name: Poetry by Samah Sabawi, Ramzy Baroud, Jehan Bseiso, winner of the prestigious 2016 Palestine Book Awards. She has won multiple community appreciation awards both in Canada and in Australia for her activism for human rights and social justice. She won an Australian Muslim Achievement Award in 2016 for Creative Artist of the Year. Her most recent play THEM was selected for MTC’s Cybec Electric reading series and will premier in May 2019 at the La Mama Courthouse. Samah Sabawi is a PhD candidate at Victoria University.

Samah Sabawi

Aseel Tayah is a Palestinian Artist who was born under occupation in Jerusalem, her life encouraged her to make art that represents what an Arab Muslim woman faces in the world today. "For me, art is an act of resistant and a tool to survive." Her main focus has been to empower women through Art. As the first artist in her community, she initiated children and youth platforms to challenge the way people think about art. Aseel is a creative director, art producer, and installation artist that shares her life experience in leadership and community development. She creates interactive experiences which invites audiences to participate through the design of the space, her body and vocal presence.

Aseel Tayah

Sello Molefi is a Singer-Songwriter, Music Composer and Arts Leader from Kroonstad South Africa. Sello studies took place at FUBA Academy in Johannesburg and Wits University Music School. His career as a vocalist landed him a role in Disney’s The Lion King, which originally brought him to Australia in 2003. Sello then toured with the production to Shanghai, back to Johannesburg then onto the West End in London. In 2016 after finishing the contract Sello decided to go home to South Africa to fulfill a life long dream and open an Arts Centre, and so Bokamoso Arts Centre was born. He is an accomplished composer, working in both stage and screen and most significantly wrote the theme song for the movie Elephant Tales. Sello composed, directed and performed his original show ‘Mantswe’ at the 2009 Melbourne Fringe Festival an his first EP ‘Mamelang’ came out in 2016. ‘Mamelang’ draws its inspiration from the humble beginnings of Negro Spiritual hymns, choral, jazz spoken word and African Traditional Sounds. Sello is now back in Melbourne working on his new EP to be released this year. ”I’m always touching on social issues and my contribution to society. Being in Melbourne makes me appreciate music more and how I can fuse my story telling with the environment I live in”.

Sello Moletfi

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